Monday, 28 February 2011

ARTICLE: Oscar Winners! How Did Wild Bore Do?

Was it worth the wait? The Oscars are finally over and were there any surprises? No. None. I had already  made my predictions here - but let's see how well we did.

Best Picture Winner: The King's Speech
Unfortunately I thought 'The Social Network' would win this and the real shock was that Fincher's Facebook Film didn't fare better.

Best Actor In A Leading Role: Colin Firth
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Firth was going to get this. Apparently the bookies said never before had the odds been better for an actor in this category.

Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Christian Bale
'The Fighter' had to pick up something and got the Supporting roles. However, Bale was a shoe-in with a decent backlog of films and a worthy successor to Heath Ledger's same award a couple of years back.

Best Actress In A Leading Role: Natalie Portman
Predictable until the end - but a very deserving win.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Melissa Leo
Even with a full page spread in Variety that Leo financed herself - her shameless self-belief that she should win the award didn't hinder her chances.

Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
Critics and fans love it alike.

Best Art Direction: Alice In Wonderland
I thought Harry Potter would get this, but it's lack of awards makes me wonder if it will do a Return of the King next year and scoop up a huge amount in 2012.

Best Cinematography: Inception
I thought 'True Grit' would get this, and I'm not the only one. The Coen's latest offering was up for 10 nominations and got nothing. That was another shock!

Best Costume Design: Alice In Wonderland
These kind of films where a lot of money is haemorrhaged in will always get more technical awards than creative ones. "But Costume is very creative!" - Well, sometimes it is ...

Best Directing: Tom Hooper
I really didn't think Hooper would win this. He is perhaps the most undeserving director on the list and I'm positive a lot of people won't be happy about it. I guessed Fincher would get this one.

Best Documentary Feature: Inside Job
I didn't think "Inside Job" would be as good as it turned out to be. "Restrepo", I thought, had Oscar all over it. Apparently not!

Best Documentary Short Feature: Strangers No More
"Killing In The Name" was very apt for such a time of Middle Eastern uprising. However, this more homely subject matter took the golden goose home.

Best Film Editing: The Social Network
I should have guessed "127 Hours" would walk away with nothing. Danny Boyle himself knew he wouldn't win anything, damn.

Best Foreign Language Film: In A Better World
I've never seen it. Maybe I should then.

Best Make-Up: The Wolfman
The fact this terrible film won anything was ridiculous. Even though I guessed correct, "Barney's Version" really should have won.

Best Music: Original Score: The Social Network
Not a surprise. I still think Daft Punk should have won this - but they weren't even nominated.

Best Music: Original Song: Toy Story 3 - "We Belong Together" Randy Newman
I thought "127 Hours" would get this. But it didn't. Randy Newman did for those God-awful country songs that make me want to rip my eyes out of their sockets and stick them down my ears.

Best Short Film (Animated): The Lost Thing
I actually wanted The Lost Thing to win - but didn't think it would. I guess someone has to have some kind of taste along the line. Instead I thought "The Gruffalo" did.

Best Short Film (Live Action): God of Love
I thought "Na Wewe" would get this. That's all I got to say about that.

Best Sound Editing: Inception
"Inception" was given a few nods from the Academy but Nolan is still yet to make a huge impression. Until he takes on a more 'serious' project, I feel they won't accept him as an auteur which is a shame seeing as a nobody like Hooper is supposed to be better than him.

Best Sound Mixing: Inception
Really? "Inception" got both Sound ones? Jesus. I thought "True Grit" would get this, but it didn't even get a look see.

Best Visual Effects: Inception
I really should have got this right but I really saw "Inception" taking more mainstream awards and thought "Alice In Wonderland" being pretty much all in CG and being Burton would scoop this, but it rightfully went to Inception, which was my personal choice anyway.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Social Network
Aaron Sorkin. 'Nuff said.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay): The King's Speech
David Seidler? I mean ... really? His last film went straight to TV and was called "Kung Fu Killer". I thought "The Fighter" would get this - but they like stutters.

So that's it!  10 out of 24 - not great but not bad either. Not as spot on as my predictions last year, but I got almost all the main ones. Which is what matters really.

Friday, 25 February 2011

NEWS: Video - Oscar Predictions

Edd Wright interviews The Wild Bore (Sam - that's me) about who could win what at this years Oscars - and some gossip about Natalie Portman.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Kiefer Sutherland "Touches"!!

For people who really, really, really loved ... "Mirrors", Kiefer is back in a new pilot called 'Touch'.

Tim Kring, the guy who made Heroes - you know that series that was crap after the first season, is doing a show with Fox called 'Touch' about his mute kid that predicts the future. What an AMAZING concept .... hmmm....

It will be directed Charles McDougall, who directed stuff for The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives, so who knows? 24 Movie is still on the cards but I watched Nick of Time again the other day, a film I haven't seen since it came out, and I can see why everyone said the first season of 24 was a complete rip off of that. Take a look! It's a good film anyway - Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken. Boom.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

REVIEW: Dead Space Aftermath

With my review of Dead Space 2 forthcoming, I thought I'd review the accompanying feature-length animation that serves as a bridge between the first and second game - Aftermath.

I enjoyed the first Dead Space animated movie Dead Space: Downfall about the events of what happened to Ishimura before Isaac landed on the ship and the Dead Space game took over. As a film in it's own right, it was average but I felt was a decent set up for the game. However, with Aftermath, a lot of (idiot) reviewers have said it doesn't follow the plot of Downfall. Of course it hasn't, there was an epic nine hour game in-between the two films.

So if you understand this, then Dead Space: Aftermath should make sense. It's literally the aftermath of the first game and setting up what will happen in Dead Space 2, mainly the character of Strauss who appears in the game.

Even if you're not aware of what's going on, the set-up is quite simple. Four survivors on another ship are taken into custody and through a series of flashbacks we see what happened. The story is simple enough, but then it's so bland and for anyone who has seen any Dead Space material - it's the same old thing. Monsters appear on the ship, they wreak havoc, you have to survive. Behind it all is this mysterious organisation interrogating our poor survivors to question how much contact they had with the 'marker' - the religious artefact that has started this whole mess.

Visceral have asked four different animation companies to come up with the different flashbacks - however, the 'present' narrative is animated by some awful CGI that looks completely outdated and unfinished. I can only maintain the fact it looks so terrible is that they weren't ready for Dead Space 2 release date and the company said 'tough - give 'em what you got'. It's a shame because it's the anchor holding the whole thing together and is very important, but it lets down the rest of the film which, visually at least, I enjoyed. Visceral did the same thing with an animated film of Dante's Inferno, which I was fortunate enough to complete before watching it because it's basically the entire plot of the game in 90 minutes, but even then characters looked completely different, there was no real continuity but I enjoyed this. I liked the way each studio put their stamp on it and you'd have to be a retard not to be able to distinguish who is who. However, this doesn't work as well in Aftermath as the characters aren't as freaky looking and so Strauss for instance was so plain at times, it was hard for me to keep track of who he was.

So the animation has it's highs and lows, the voice acting is not so bad (the black guy from Stargate SG1, the latino guy from Desperate Housewives etc.) but not amazing either. It is however the horrible plot that really lets it down. I like the way it starts at the end and we put pieces together like a jigsaw but for a horror animation it was quite boring. For one thing, I've seen it all before and Downfall did it a lot better. It's also not much of a bridge between the two films except for filling us in on why Isaac is back in this whole mess in the first place.

If you love Dead Space, I'd say give it a watch and try and put the CG to the back of your mind, but really this is a failed attempt to try something quite cool. It's good to have a go, but it needs to be done right and this felt more like an extra that should have been given away with the game rather than being bought in it's own right. If you want to see something like this, I'd watch Downfall instead and if you haven't played Dead Space in the first place, then I don't know why you're reading this. You can get it for £5 - £10 these days brand new and it's one of the most original, exciting games I've played.

Now time to get back to Dead Space 2.

Rating: 4/10

Saturday, 19 February 2011

NEWS: Dead Island To Be A Movie After Success Of Trailer

Days after Dead Isand's incredible trailer was released, the film rights have already been snapped up based purely on the short clip featured here a couple of days ago.

That's right. If you haven't seen the trailer already click here to see it - as it is incredible and almost brought me to a tear! The slow-mo parallel narrative that the online community are comparing to 'Lost' is a heart-wrenching, haunting couple of minutes promoting the forthcoming Dead Island game, a sandbox RPG shooter set on a zombie infested tropical paradise.

Now we hear that Sean Daniel who has worked on, well, not the best movies ('The Wolfman', 'The Mummy')  has bought the rights with his new Sean Daniel Company (egotistical much?). Game producers Techland are running to the bank laughing, and they've not even released the game yet! I'm struggling to think of another example of movie rights being bought for a game before release - I don't think it's happened. Anyone else think of anything?

Friday, 18 February 2011

NEWS: Iron Man 3 Director Announced

Shane Black, the guy who was in "Predator" - oh and he directed and wrote some stuff as well, will direct Iron Man 3 as Favreau steps down.

After working with Downey Jr on overrated and ultimately dismissed "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" a film that people say really relaunched Downey Jr's career and a film that magazines like Empire loved, when really it was mediocre at best, it's time for Black to get behind the camera and direct again. Although "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"  hasn't exactly stood out has it? Either way, Black's back to doing what he does best - pure action. Whether he will be writing it remains to be seen.
Iron Man 3 is set ot be released May 3rd 2013. Not long then.

NEWS: Teaser Trailer for Dead Island Released

My friend Simon just showed me this and I have to say it's incredible. It is clearly trying to stay away from the Dead Rising-esque splatterfest usually associated with zombies and give it a bit more heart. The score is haunting and the double narrative here is wonderful, telling a story backwards yet forwards in such a fashion would make the most accomplished of commercial directors blush. Don't dismiss it as a video game trailer because it works on a number of levels and you'll miss out.
It also reminds me a bit of Lost, anyone agree?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

NEWS: BAFTA Winners - How Did Wild Bore Do?

BAFTA is finishing and so let's find out who won! Did Wild Bore do well? 

Well, they are always a pre-cursor to the Oscars, or so the British want to think, but you can see here what I thought would win and what I wanted to win. But here I'm not considering what I wanted to win, just my predictions. Let's see!

Best Supporting Actress

Helena Bonham Carter - King's Speech

Wild Bore said: Lesley Manville - Another Year

Best Supporting Actor

Geoffrey Rush - King's Speech

Wild Bore said: Pete Postlethwaite - The Town

Best Leading Actress:

Natalie Portman - Black Swan

Best Leading Actor:

Colin Firth - King's Speech

Best Animated Film

Toy Story 3

Film Not In English Language

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Wild Bore said: Of Gods and Men

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin

Best Original Screenplay

The King's Speech - David Seidler

Wild Bore said: The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg

Best Director

The Social Network - David Fincher

Outstanding Debut

Four Lions - Chris Morris

Outstanding British Film

The King's Speech

Best Film

The King's Speech

Wild Bore said: The Social Network


Not bad. However, I think it's unfair King's Speech won Best Film and Outstanding British Film, Mike Leigh must be fuming - especially since his outrage earlier this week at the BFI. I honestly didn't think it would be that predictable and even in my predictions, I gave some elbow room for some random choices which was clearly too much room! If you're watching this on TV I hope you enjoy the pretty dresses because this must be completely unsurprising.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

NEWS: LA Noire New Trailer - Gameplay

Latest trailer for Rockstar's LA Noire. How amazing does this look? One of the biggest games of 2011 and will be released in May.

NEWS: Tupac Film Announced

Morgan Creek Productions have announced that a film about rapper Tupac is to go ahead this year with Antoine Fuqua at the helm. Good news?

I imagine a lot of people will be excited that "Training Day" director Fuqua will be responsible for the long-awaited biopic of one of the most famous rappers of all time. However, I don't know if it's such a good thing. This is mainly because I didn't like Training Day that much, I thought it was an average movie at best and more proof that as much as I like Denzel in interviews etc. - he is essentially a very 2D actor. In any case, I don't think he'll be slipping into Tupac's shoes. I hope so anyway. But people who liked Training Day forget what other films Fuqua has done - the abysmal "King Arthur", lacklustre "Tears of the Sun" and the Wahlberg bore "Shooter" - all arguably his biggest films since "Training Day". It just shows that if you do some nice, splashy music videos it doesn't mean you got the balls to go over 3 minutes and he might have hit the right notes with his Oscar-loved Washington vehicle, but can he do Tupac justice?

In any case, apparently Tupac's family are happy about it and I doubt it will bring up his violent tendencies including shooting two drunk cops, his part of a gang-rape of a 19 year old girl (something he denied to his grave but was committed for - after having sex with her a few days before she came back and then it all got a bit twisted in the bedroom with his mates). Anyway, it's a tricky subject to handle, a person idolised by millions but with a very chequered past.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

REVIEW: Never Let Me Go

Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan star in the adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel of the same name. Is it the strange British sci-fi that is meant to sweep up the awards? No, it’s just “The Island” set in rural posh Britain. I think it’s time to let go…
It’s a strange film for director Mark Romanek to decide to make. Having had a history of making music videos, he branched out into features with “One Hour Photo” – which I adored and still enjoy watching having watched it again on my Sky Anytime last week. But what brought him to “Never Let Me Go”? The tale of three children living in some weird, parallel universe where humans are manufactured to donate their organs until ‘completion’ – otherwise known as dying – isn’t something you’d think Romanek would attach himself to and to be honest, he shouldn’t have.

Right from the off, the main problem I have here is I have no idea of the greater concept here. I enjoy tales about small lives in a changing world, whether it’s blockbusters like Spielberg’s War of the Worlds or Night of the Living Dead or The Road – the idea of putting normal people in extraordinary situations is an age-old popular trait. However, with Never Let Me Go the children in question aren’t ordinary and what is actually happening here is drip fed throughout the film in tiny tid-bits that aren’t enough to hold my interest. I want to know why humans are brought up to donate, what decision was behind this, why set it from 70’s to 90’s Britain, what other methods they have been doing, why the school was supposed to special? Everything is hinted on and even answered in some cases, but not to the extent or depth that I wanted. I’m not saying I want to be spoon fed information but I want to be given enough either from the start, or before certain events occur, that put the rest of the film and certain decisions into context.

Then again, I’m putting the film into literal terms. I’m sure there are deeper levels at work here that are probably more profound in the book, but instead they reveal themselves during the final scene as Carey Mulligan ponders death and love and it feels too little too late. I just can’t justify that this is an intelligent, creative film – instead it has been handled poorly and it’s just boring. The only thing that kept me going through it was trying to find out the reasons for all this cloning, donating and how it’s supposed to work in society but you only ever get the viewpoint of Carey Mulligan who has little or no interaction with the ‘outside’ world, whom I guess are just OK with this. Why haven’t they run away? Why are they obliged to donate? Why is it so good to ‘complete’? I wanted to know more and was left completely unsatisfied – I couldn’t give a toss about the love story, but they are guessing that you do – baring in mind the couple don’t get together until near the end and these characters are so detached from your sympathies by this point that the quiet, somber mood instead feels like indifference.

To it’s credit, a lot of the shots look great and the cinematography isn’t anything amazing, but it does border on impressive. Knightley is almost sufferable and Garfield is acting by the numbers, Mulligan fortunately holds the whole film together but even she fails to impress. The adult cast are only in half of the film and the children at the beginning make me want to bang my head against a wall – it’s their situation that intrigues me, not their characters. Everyone is just so wet the whole time – moaning and emotional, or emotionless, and you don’t really see much of Britain during this period save a cafĂ©. The whole ‘art as an insight into your soul’ as proof of the human condition is so disgustingly blatant that it might as well be saying ‘art is about pretty pictures’. I hated everything about this film except the mediocre acting and the fact that they are brought up just for their organs rather than for humans – farmed if you will. The lame analogy of how their completion is just like our completion by spelling it out word for word is beyond patronising. If something is based on a book, it doesn’t mean it’s clever or should be considered as such. Like a clone, sometimes a terrible film can hide amongst the others and not get noticed.

I wouldn’t watch this film again and frustrating as it is, I have seen worse. It’s a complete disappointment and what I hate the most is that it has this appearance of being clever, moody and emotional when actually it’s catered for people who thought The Da Vinci Code was the best book they’ve ever read. People who don’t read basically. I don’t wish to sound like I think I’m better than others, but seeing as 40 million copies were sold, I’m better than 40 million people. Hey, I don’t make up the figures. I only hope it made people who hate reading go and buy some more books and then realise that Da Vinci Code was shit. I read Angels & Demons as well. Shit. But anyway, I’m going off track here …
If someone has read the book and feels it has done it a massive injustice then let me know but based upon this film, I’m going to steer clear of this book like it was Anthrax. If you love Knightley, she’s hardly in it, Garfield looks like his mind is elsewhere and you could spend 2 hours doing something better with your time rather than waste it on this. Huge disappointment but yet, such a good idea.
Except that The Island did it with Ewen McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. If Michael Bay has done a similar film better than yours – you know you’re in trouble.

Rating: 5/10